Edward Alleyn, founder of Dulwich College, was an “impresario, entrepreneur and one of the leading actors of his day.” The Founder’s Day event at the Legend Garden campus held on Saturday, May 25 was precisely an opportunity for the school community to follow in Alleyn’s footsteps. As in previous International Day celebrations, the festivities began with a flag parade and a Chinese lion dance. Parents gathered by nationality to sell food from their own country or region, and students held charity fund-raising projects.
Despite the heat, families poured out into the South Pitch as early as 1.30pm to come together and celebrate, Dulwich-style. Dotted throughout the field were small groups playing ball sports, while organized competitions like an inter-school Quidditch match were held in other pitches throughout the campus. On the main stage, children of all ages performed, starting with Early Years students, to the Junior School pupils with wind and string instruments, band and choir, to the Senior School music students who led the crowd in singing together. By late afternoon, a Junior School Pop Idol competition was held, and in the evening it was the Senior School’s turn in front of judges and a huge crowd. Eleven semi-finalists danced, played guitar, or danced, much to the audience’s delight. The top prize went to a Year 10 boy who both sang and played guitar.
All around the field were activities for little ones, like water and ball pools, parlor games, bouncy castle and slippery slide, and for the older kids, Chinese activities like pingpong, a Monkey King performance and Chinese face painting. Indoors, there were puppetry performances by drama students, workshops with drama teachers, hands-on photography lessons with a camera obscura, and interactive painting sessions.
The evening came to a close with the Senior School orchestra playing popular movie theme songs, and finally an impressive laser light show. It was truly a great inauguration of a new tradition at Dulwich, and next year promises to be even bigger and better.
Photos courtesy of Dulwich College Beijing
Dana is the beijingkids‘ Shunyi Correspondent. Originally from the Philippines, she moved to Beijing in 2011 (via Europe) with her husband, two sons and Rusty the dog. She enjoys writing, photography, theater, visual arts, and trying new food. In her free time, she can be found exploring the city and driving along the mountain roads of Huairou, Miyun and Pinggu.